Saturday, October 17, 2009
What the Longhorns need to do to win today
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Griffin
DALLAS -- Mack Brown's attitude before these games against Oklahoma has changed over the years.
Brown used to appear uptight before his games against the Sooners.
I was struck by how much different he appeared this week. He might have been the most relaxed I've ever seen him before one of these games.
Obviously, Brown is secure in knowing he has a pretty good team. And the Longhorns will be facing a wounded Oklahoma team that doesn't appear to be nearly as formidable as it might have been before the season.
But weird things have a way of happening in this rivalry over the years. Here are some things that the Longhorns need to do to claim their fourth victory in the last five games of the series.
- Pressure Sam Bradford: Sergio Kindle's senior season has been a little bit of a disappointment with 19 tackles and two sacks. He'll have a chance to pressure the young Sooners' offensive line which is a little bit weaker after Brian Simmons' knee injury. The Longhorns' defensive line wore down the Sooners last season, causing Bradford more problems than in any regular-season game. They need to do the same thing today.
- Keep DeMarco Murray contained: Murray rushed for a season-best 113 yards against Baylor last week. But he's still the Sooners' most explosive offensive player and can be a force as a receiver, too. With Ryan Broyles still recovering from his injury, Texas needs to pay special attention to Murray to keep him from becoming a force.
- Be multi-dimensional on offense: The Longhorns rushed for only 46 yards last week against Colorado and it will be even tougher against Oklahoma's rigid run defense. Watch for them to try to dictate the running game early to try and establish some early tempo.